If you want to form a Limited Liability Company that will be taxed as an S Corporation, you’ll want to know some basic information before you start a business. Many people choose to form their companies as an LLC but with the S Corporation taxation election. Why?
There are two parts involved, taxes and liability advantages. There is a tax advantage in most cases because having an entity taxed as an S corporation allows the owners to save on self-employment taxes (which are 15.3% up to $106,800 of earned income in 2009) on distributions of profits. It is very important to take a reasonable salary when you have either an S corporation or an LLC taxed as an S corporation.
The IRS does not like an owner of an S corporation to take only distributions that are not subject to SE taxes. A reasonable salary is the key. Second, point is that an LLC taxed as an S corporation has an extra layer of liability protection vs. just an S corporation. That is called the “charging order” protection.
These are the two main reasons it may be to your benefit to start a business and form an LLC, yet tax it as an S Corporation. Key point: make sure you file form 2553 federally with the IRS to make the S election in a timely manor (plus some states require a state form to be filed also).
Because the owner of the LLC is self-employed, 15.3% of all earnings up to $106,800 in 2009 are subject to self-employment taxes. For instance, let’s say that you earned $60,000 last year in your LLC. You would pay $9,180 in self-employment tax. That money will go toward your Social Security and Medicaid payments. However, there is a way to earn a lucrative salary without taking a hit on all of the profits.
Let’s say that you formed an LLC taxed as an S Corporation. You earn the same amount of money but pay yourself a salary of $40,000. You’ll pay only $6,120 in self-employment tax. That’s a tax savings of $3,060. S Corporations can elect to pay the remaining $20,000 in earnings as a distribution from the company. As an LLC, you can also elect to split the profits in this manner, as long as you follow IRS guidelines. That’s where the tax savings comes into play.
If you want to form an LLC but want the tax advantages of an S Corporation, you’ll have to get permission from the IRS by filing Form 2553. Timing is crucial, however. This form is due by the 15th day of the third month of the tax year. If you formed your company in May, you’ll have until August 15 to file. Miss that deadline, and you will not be able to take advantage of S Corporation tax savings.
Keep in mind that an LLC taxed as an S corporation may not be beneficial to everyone. For example, in California a licensed professional cannot form an LLC so their best option may be a corporation. Because you have three months to file for S Corporation tax status, make it a priority to seek professional assistance before making the final decision. For many small business owners, however, the ease of management that a Limited Liability Company offers combined with the lower taxes of an S Corporation make this decision an easy one to make.
For more information on forming an LLC taxed as an S corporation, read on! Form an LLC Taxed as an S Corporation.
About The Author: Scott Letourneau is the CEO of Fast Business Credit, Inc. When it comes to securing cash and vendor lines of credit and avoiding costly mistakes his company is the authority. For further assistance regarding the development of business credit go to http://www.FastBusinessCredit.com or call FBC at 1-888-313-6333 or 702-977-5246.